View Full Version : Chelation: What -- and how dangerous -- is it?


sarahsweets
03-04-17, 05:06 AM
MODERATOR NOTE: This thread is a continuation of a discussion that started in another thread (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=183042). It was moved here so that both this topic and the original thread could get the attention they deserve.

Can you tell me what chelation is?

I'd have concerns if a pyschopharmacologist was advising people not to follow an evidence-based and scientifically validated course of treatment because of "big pharma." Sounds like that practitioner is due for a career change.

For the OP, Valentine, we've all been there, with the concerns over stimulants. In our family, we're still ambivalent about it, but the fact is that we've seen the results of this course of treatment...improved schoolwork, improved behaviour at home (ie a level of peace finally in the household for everyone's benefit that we'd never experienced before), and most of all, a child not affected by the same level of anxiety (she had physical symptoms and was just overwhelmed and miserable). She is finally able to function. She's happier. She's doing all these things, the little things, that she just couldn't do before due to the ADHD and anxiety.

I've seen undiagnosed and untreated ADHD among the adults in my husband's family. One has been treated regularly for anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. She's been dealing with learning disorders, compulsive shopping, and an epic level of disorganisation in daily life that is only mitigated by daughters who step in and sort out her life for her...clean her apartment, get her to appointments etc. If that is the possible future for my child with untreated ADHD, I would like to avoid that.

Yes, natural approaches should be a complement to standard treatment. Who knows, perhaps someone might respond well enough that it reduces the amount of medication they require. Everyone is different. But be wary of "cures" touted by "experts." Gosh, my child was only diagnosed last September and I've had friends send me info on natural sites that recommend all sorts of protocols from diet and supplements to more dangerous approaches (chelation). I had someone on a forum for natural approaches argue with me that my child's ADHD must have been caused by the toxins in her body (sigh) and that I should buy her e-book and follow the guidelines (presumably to "detox" her). I had a cousin recommend a vitamin supplement that is supposed to treat adhd, bipolar, depression, whatever, to the extent that people don't require meds any longer. Heck, even in Australia, we had some natural treatment that made the news and TV a couple of weeks back as a miracle supplement but then the truth got out...

http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s4627196.htm

I was on an Australian ADHD forum and parents were running out the next day and buying multiple packages at once when the story first broke. Miracles are profitable.

I guess what I'm saying is that I agree with dvdnvwls that there is just as much, if not more, reason to be suspicious of "small pharma."

Johnny Slick
03-04-17, 10:14 AM
It's a process to remove heavy metals like mercury from your blood. It does have legitimate medical uses but so far as I know treating ADHD isn't remotely close to one of them and the whole idea reeks of that "oh noes vaccines cause autism" thing that plagues alternative medicine circles (the anti vax crowd harps on the fact that compounds containing mercury used to be present in vaccines 20 years ago as the cause).

maple17
03-05-17, 05:27 AM
Can you tell me what chelation is?

Johnny's right. It's a process of supposedly removing heavy metals by various chemical compounds. It's been used by some ASD parents on their children and endorsed by some controversial autism organisations as a way of treating autism. There are people on the natural treatment for ADHD forums who recommend it for ADHD as well. Supposedly if you detox your kid and chelate them to get the heavy metals out, their behaviour improves. Some of the online gurus will sell you a heavy metals testing kit and then when your results come back that you "need" chelation, they will also sell you the supplements.

There are loads of sites that discuss it...I understand why some parents try it and want to believe in it. But there is a lot of risk for some really dubious benefit (if any).

sarahsweets
03-05-17, 09:02 AM
Johnny's right. It's a process of supposedly removing heavy metals by various chemical compounds. It's been used by some ASD parents on their children and endorsed by some controversial autism organisations as a way of treating autism. There are people on the natural treatment for ADHD forums who recommend it for ADHD as well. Supposedly if you detox your kid and chelate them to get the heavy metals out, their behaviour improves. Some of the online gurus will sell you a heavy metals testing kit and then when your results come back that you "need" chelation, they will also sell you the supplements.

There are loads of sites that discuss it...I understand why some parents try it and want to believe in it. But there is a lot of risk for some really dubious benefit (if any).
But like, what is that process because it sounds dangerous?

maple17
03-05-17, 05:18 PM
But like, what is that process because it sounds dangerous?

Chelation therapy involves an intravenous injection of a synthetic amino acid called ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid (EDTA) that latches on to heavy metals in the body and then is passed out through the urine.
EDTA has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the body that approves medicines for public use in the United States, but for treatment of only acute heavy-metal poisoning diagnosed with blood tests.
Some parents of autistic children, however, believe the therapy can help by purging toxic metals, thought by some to be a cause of the disorder.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1496949/Autism-boy-dies-after-alternative-therapy.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1592402/

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5508a3.htm

What is dangerous about the process is the risk of cardiac arrest. I think other risks include arrythmias, renal failure, bone marrow depression, convulsions, and respiratory arrest.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2922724/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26114777

https://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2012/11/30/no-evidence-supporting-chelation-as-autism-treatment/#6ea60de87df8

This issue bothers me, even as an ADHD newbie parent because 1) on the ADHD forums elsewhere, parents are still buying testing kits or having hair analysis done or asking their naturopaths for heavy metal testing with the intent to start chelation to address their kids' ADHD symptoms 2) it is used by strongly anti-med ADHD parents to support their view that their child's ADHD is not genetic nor biologically based, but caused by toxic expsoures that must be addressed for treatment to be successful. I went on one of these sites to get tips on healthy eating (because even kids on meds could use help with eating a nutritious diet) and was told by the admin that I must have done something to cause my child's ADHD through vaccines, pesticide and herbicide exposure, crap diet, food intolerances, antibiotics, fluoride, dental work, personal care chemicals, you name it. Never mind the three undiagnosed family members with ADHD symptoms I can see in my husband's family, it must have been toxins. :scratch:

dvdnvwls
03-05-17, 07:32 PM
Anybody who blames "toxins" for anything is a quack or a fake.

If it was really toxins, they would right away name the exact toxin involved, and the word "toxins" would probably never even get mentioned.

Different toxins do very different things. The people you were talking with don't even know that - they're just looking for something to blame so they can stop thinking. They know that chemical compounds aren't able to speak for themselves, so they're targeting the weakest opponent they can come up with.

sarahsweets
03-06-17, 05:28 AM
OMG! I just read the links, how terrible! I cant understand why anyone would try this for something other than heavy metal poisoning that was confirmed by a blood test in a hospital. It sounds like a life saving treatment in a case where say a child ingests toxic heavy metals but never for stuff like autism.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1496949/Autism-boy-dies-after-alternative-therapy.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1592402/

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5508a3.htm

What is dangerous about the process is the risk of cardiac arrest. I think other risks include arrythmias, renal failure, bone marrow depression, convulsions, and respiratory arrest.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2922724/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26114777

https://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2012/11/30/no-evidence-supporting-chelation-as-autism-treatment/#6ea60de87df8

This issue bothers me, even as an ADHD newbie parent because 1) on the ADHD forums elsewhere, parents are still buying testing kits or having hair analysis done or asking their naturopaths for heavy metal testing with the intent to start chelation to address their kids' ADHD symptoms 2) it is used by strongly anti-med ADHD parents to support their view that their child's ADHD is not genetic nor biologically based, but caused by toxic expsoures that must be addressed for treatment to be successful. I went on one of these sites to get tips on healthy eating (because even kids on meds could use help with eating a nutritious diet) and was told by the admin that I must have done something to cause my child's ADHD through vaccines, pesticide and herbicide exposure, crap diet, food intolerances, antibiotics, fluoride, dental work, personal care chemicals, you name it. Never mind the three undiagnosed family members with ADHD symptoms I can see in my husband's family, it must have been toxins. :scratch:

BellaVita
03-06-17, 06:16 AM
Chelation therapy can be deadly, I know of a story of one boy who died from it.

Sad that parents would rather risk their child dying than having autism or ADHD.

dvdnvwls
03-06-17, 06:35 PM
Other notes, just in case:

- You can't detox from a non-toxic substance.

- Detox is only valid in cases of acute poisoning with a clearly identified single poisonous substance.

- What is called "detox" in the treatment of addiction is a whole different thing and not relevant in this thread.

maple17
03-08-17, 08:48 PM
OMG! I just read the links, how terrible! I cant understand why anyone would try this for something other than heavy metal poisoning that was confirmed by a blood test in a hospital. It sounds like a life saving treatment in a case where say a child ingests toxic heavy metals but never for stuff like autism.

I know. Desperation, I guess, influences people in their decisions, along with glowing testimonials and the promise of if not a "cure," a marked improvement in daily quality of life. But at what cost? Never mind the risk of death or further disability from chelation gone wrong, are these therapies beneficial to the child's well being? I can think of a number of examples of other extreme approaches I've read online and I don't know if the ends ever justify the means in those cases.

Kunga Dorji
03-15-17, 01:03 AM
Chelation could clearly be a risk if not done correctly- just like any medical procedure. Sepsis, fluid overload, acute allergy to EDTA all come to mind.
I can't imagine submitting a child to it- or getting their co-operation.

Assuming that a toxin causes autism or ADHD, there is the secondary question of "will removing it now resolve the problem- or are there already significant changes in brain growth that will persist regardless. Quite frankly nobody knows this.

The toxin question is probably much more significant than we have been prepared to admit. There are a whole series of studies circulating now regarding aluminium (an adjuvant in vaccines), though we have done well to get mercury largely eliminated from most vaccines.

The vaccination debate is difficult as it has become so polarised, and that makes finding anything about policy or decision making extremely difficult.
Bear in mind that I am not intensely pro-vaccine or antivaccine but I do think that it is reasonable to debate just how many vaccines are required, and reasonable to note that vaccines are produced by companies that have a history of malfeasance. ( IE Merck had a very large payout over their fraud in getting the dangerous antiinflammatory Vioxx on the market with fraudulent science supporting it).

So here are a couple of studies that have not yet been taken into account:
A Dose-Response Relationship between Organic Mercury Exposure from Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (http://vaccinesafetycommission.org/pdfs/10-2014-Int-J-Environ-Mercury-Geier.pdf)Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2014, David A. Geier, Brian S. Hooker, Janet K. Kern, Paul G. King, Lisa K. Sykes and Mark R. Geier

Transcriptomic Analyses of Neurotoxic Effects in Mouse Brain After Intermittent Neonatal Administration of Thimerosal (http://vaccinesafetycommission.org/pdfs/09-2014-Toxicolog-Li.pdf), Toxicological Sciences, March 2014, Xialong Li, Fengqin Qu, Wenjuan Xe, Fengli Wang, Hongmei Lui

Thi sis one area where the science is far from settled- so we all need to keep an eye on it.

mildadhd
03-16-17, 10:24 PM
Chelation could clearly be a risk if not done correctly- just like any medical procedure. Sepsis, fluid overload, acute allergy to EDTA all come to mind.
I can't imagine submitting a child to it- or getting their co-operation.

Assuming that a toxin causes autism or ADHD, there is the secondary question of "will removing it now resolve the problem- or are there already significant changes in brain growth that will persist regardless. Quite frankly nobody knows this.

The toxin question is probably much more significant than we have been prepared to admit. There are a whole series of studies circulating now regarding aluminium (an adjuvant in vaccines), though we have done well to get mercury largely eliminated from most vaccines.

The vaccination debate is difficult as it has become so polarised, and that makes finding anything about policy or decision making extremely difficult.
Bear in mind that I am not intensely pro-vaccine or antivaccine but I do think that it is reasonable to debate just how many vaccines are required, and reasonable to note that vaccines are produced by companies that have a history of malfeasance. ( IE Merck had a very large payout over their fraud in getting the dangerous antiinflammatory Vioxx on the market with fraudulent science supporting it).

So here are a couple of studies that have not yet been taken into account:
A Dose-Response Relationship between Organic Mercury Exposure from Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (http://vaccinesafetycommission.org/pdfs/10-2014-Int-J-Environ-Mercury-Geier.pdf)Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2014, David A. Geier, Brian S. Hooker, Janet K. Kern, Paul G. King, Lisa K. Sykes and Mark R. Geier

Transcriptomic Analyses of Neurotoxic Effects in Mouse Brain After Intermittent Neonatal Administration of Thimerosal (http://vaccinesafetycommission.org/pdfs/09-2014-Toxicolog-Li.pdf), Toxicological Sciences, March 2014, Xialong Li, Fengqin Qu, Wenjuan Xe, Fengli Wang, Hongmei Lui

Thi sis one area where the science is far from settled- so we all need to keep an eye on it.

Thanks.

Two words on food ingredient labels, I have learned I should never eat because I feel terrible after I eat them are...

"hydrogenated..." and "EDTA".



m

dvdnvwls
03-17-17, 12:50 AM
The vaccination "debate" is neither polarized nor difficult. In fact there is not a debate going on about vaccines. There certainly is a very vocal group of people trying to persuade everyone that (despite conclusive evidence) there is some major widespread problem lurking behind vaccines. The anti-vaccine lobby has been clearly exposed as nothing but the fallout from publications faked by one prominent and persuasive liar, and their claim that there is anything remaining to debate is merely an attempt to keep that particular set of lies in the public eye.

mildadhd
03-17-17, 11:48 PM
I was focusing on being allergic to some food preservatives.



m

namazu
03-18-17, 01:03 AM
MODERATOR NOTE: The thread is about chelation, which is used to remove heavy metals from the blood. Please stay on topic.

mildadhd
03-18-17, 03:23 PM
Chelation could clearly be a risk if not done correctly- just like any medical procedure. Sepsis, fluid overload, acute allergy to EDTA all come to mind.
I can't imagine submitting a child to it- or getting their co-operation...




Sorry, I should have been more clear.

I was responding to Kunga Kanga Dorji's post, in reference to "allergy to EDTA".

If I understand correctly EDTA is sometimes involved in chelation?

I seem to be allergic to foods persevered with EDTA?

So I could not imagine getting my co-operation.


ABBREVIATION
chemistry
ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid, a crystalline acid with a strong tendency to form chelates with metal ions.



m

Kunga Dorji
03-23-17, 09:52 PM
Thanks.

Two words on food ingredient labels, I have learned I should never eat because I feel terrible after I eat them are...

"hydrogenated..." and "EDTA".



m
No-- EDTA is the chelation agent used- it is injected-- I have not heard of it being in foods

hydrogenated vegetable oil has been heat treated and turned in to a different chemical form (typically a trans-fatty acid- which is a different shape, and stiffer than usual fatty acids). Its definitely unhealthy.
It is often in processed food and margerine and

Little Missy
03-23-17, 09:55 PM
No-- EDTA is the chelation agent used- it is injected-- I have not heard of it being in foods

hydrogenated vegetable oil has been heat treated and turned in to a different chemical form (typically a trans-fatty acid- which is a different shape, and stiffer than usual fatty acids). Its definitely unhealthy.
It is often in processed food and margerine and

It is in some canned foods, di-sodium EDTA. Usually canned beans. I've never eaten it though.:)

mildadhd
03-24-17, 11:03 AM
No-- EDTA is the chelation agent used- it is injected-- I have not heard of it being in foods

hydrogenated vegetable oil has been heat treated and turned in to a different chemical form (typically a trans-fatty acid- which is a different shape, and stiffer than usual fatty acids). Its definitely unhealthy.
It is often in processed food and margerine and

EDTA is in some salad dressings and mayonnaise. I remember reading it in the ingredients of other foods aswell but I cannot recall which at the moment?

When I was a kid I used to get night sweats from hydrogenated oils, and I told my doctor at the time and he said I was wrong. But I could eat it today and predict night sweats tonight.


m

Kunga Dorji
03-24-17, 12:04 PM
Well back in the day, it was thought that hydrogenated vegetable oils like margerine would reduce your risk or heart disease.


WRONG--- but it is taking time to penetrate to the outer world-- and that is due to the commercial interests that sell foods containing it.